ESTO Cares is giving back to the communities we visit. This year, our volunteers will be clearing crownvetch, a tough aggressive spreading plant that is invading the ruins of historic Mill Ruins Park in downtown Minneapolis. This is a one hour speed event to see which team can clear the most crownvetch. The second hour will be spent planting prairie plants. These are light labor activities.
We ask that you "buy" a free Save the Ruins ticket to confirm your attendace and that you also make a donation to the cause by buying the second Friend of the Prairie ticket for a mere $10 per person.
Mill Ruins Park is located on the west bank of the Mississippi River in downtown Minneapolis and about a mile walk from the Hilton. The park is adjacent to St. Anthony Falls and the Stone Arch Bridge. It is the centerpiece of the revitalization of Minneapolis' historic West Side Milling District.
In its 19th-century heyday, this area of mills, canals, tailraces and other historic resources comprised the largest direct-drive water-powered facility in the world and was the leading international producer of flour, a commodity which was shipped both nationwide and worldwide.
This industrial powerhouse was the catalyst for the development of Minneapolis and the birthplace of a number of companies which remain significant to this day, including General Mills, Pillsbury, Washburn Crosby (WCCO), and Xcel Energy.
Mill Ruins Park lies within the St. Anthony Falls Historic District and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Mill Ruins Park is directly adjacent to the 1883 Stone Arch Bridge, a National Historic Engineering Landmark constructed to connect Midwestern farmers and their crops of wheat to the booming flour production mills.
The park tells this story through the now exposed historic walls and waterpower features long buried beneath many feet of sand and gravel. With the reopening of the historic tailrace canal, which carried water from the mill turbines back to the river, visitors have the opportunity to interact directly with an exciting water feature.